2020 Ford Escape vs 2020 Kia Sportage – Cincinnati, OH

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  • 2020 Ford Escape

    A gray 2020 Ford Escape is facing left.

    Starting at

    $24,885

    2020 Kia Sportage

    A black 2020 Kia Sportage is angled right on a white background.

    Starting at

    $23,990

    44/37 MPGFuel Economy (city/highway)23/30 MPG
    190-280Torque (lb-ft)175-260
    181-250Horsepower (HP)181-240
    3,500Towing Capacity (LBS)2,000

    Compact crossovers are becoming increasingly popular across the United States. These petite SUVs are ideal for people from all walks of life. Traveling artists can find a use for these vehicles when they need to pack up their creations and head to craft fairs. Musicians can secure their instruments in the back and drive safely to their venue. Dog lovers can take their four-legged companions everywhere they go. Couples can plan their family and enjoy road trips together with plenty of space for souvenirs. Small families can get their kids to school and extracurricular activities every day and also get to work or run errands. If you are thinking about purchasing a compact crossover, you should compare the 2020 Ford Escape vs 2020 Kia Sportage. These two models are both solid choices for anyone looking for a compact vehicle with plenty of room.

    Since we are on the subject of the cargo space, let’s start there with the comparisons. The new 2020 Ford Escape seats five people with 37.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back row. By folding down the rear seats, you can max out the cargo area at 65.4 cubic feet. On the other hand, the 2020 Kia Sportage also seats five people, but its cargo room comes up short. With only 30.7 cubic feet behind the back row and a mere 60.1 cubic feet maximum, this model is not as spacious as the Escape. 

    Let’s dive in deeper to get a closer look at the performance specs, interior features, and exterior styling elements of these two petite SUVs. 

  • Performance

    Two women walk away from a white 2020 Ford Escape in front of mountains after winning 2020 Ford Escape vs 2020 Kia Sportage.

    The Ford Escape's Engine Options

    It wouldn’t be an American-made vehicle if the Ford Escape was only available with one engine. This spry crossover is available with one of four powertrain options. The first is a turbocharged 1.5-liter Ecoboost I-3 engine that generates 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque. Equipped with front-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission, this powertrain has an impressive fuel economy set at 30 MPG combined (27 city/33 highway). 

    Next is a turbocharged 2.0-liter Ecoboost I-4 engine that pushes out 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Mated with front-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic SelectShift transmission, this stronger powertrain only gets about 26 mpg combined (23 city/31highway). This engine will allow drivers to tow up to 3,500 lbs. 

    If you are looking for more engine options, you can always opt for the hybrid or plug-in hybrid engines. Both powertrains use the 2.5-liter iVCT Atkinson Cycle I-4 engine coupled with a battery-powered motor. The difference comes in the battery sizes. Both also have an impressive average fuel economy of up to 41 MPG combined (44 city/37 highway). 

    The Kia Sportage's Engine Offerings 

    Surprisingly, the Kia Sportage has more than one engine option too. However, it doesn’t have four choices. It only has two. The standard powertrain is a 2.4-liter I-4 engine that produces 181 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. Coupled with front-wheel drive and a 6-speed automatic transmission, the Sportage gets about 26 MPG combined (23 city/30 highway). The other choice is a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 engine that generates 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. This one is standard on the sport SX Turbo trim, and it has a fuel economy set at 23 MPG combined (20 city/28 highway). That is significantly lower than the Escape models. The maximum towing capacity is capped at 2,000 pounds. 

  • Interior

    A view over the driver's shoulder of the back up camera in action inside a 2020 Ford Escape.

    The Ford Escape's Dynamic Trims

    The first thing we want to highlight about the 2020 Ford Escape is that every trim level comes with the Ford Co-Pilot360 safety suite. This includes advanced safety features such as blindspot monitoring, pre-collision assist, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, a rearview camera, and emergency braking. The base model is known as the S trim.

    This one is well-equipped and affordable with a 6-speaker stereo system, three power outlets, and the Sync infotainment system. This interface works with Bluetooth connectivity so that you can send text messages and make phone calls hands-free. The second trim is the SE. This adds heated front seats for extra comfort during the winter months. It also gets satellite radio and an upgraded infotainment system known as Sync3. 

    This adds compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for seamless audio and app integration. Essentially, it makes your vehicle’s infotainment system function as your smartphone. Moving up a bit is the SE Sport Hybrid model. This is very similar to the SE trim, but it comes with an enlarged instrument panel for easier viewing. Next is the SEL trim. This opens the door to more luxurious features such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated leather seats, SiriusXM Radio, and Travel Link. 

    An ideal trim for active families, this model also includes special ActiveX upholstery that is more durable than normal cloth material. The top-of-the-line trim is the Titanium model. Leather-trimmed seating and a premium 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system with a subwoofer are included at this level. Advanced technology such as dual-zone climate control, remote start, and Active Park Assist 2.0 have also been added. 

    The Kia Sportage's Trims

    The 2020 Kia Sportage is only available in four trims. That’s one short of the Escape. The base LX model includes a few good safety features too, such as emergency braking, blindspot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and high beam assist. It also comes with an advanced infotainment interface displayed on an 8-inch touchscreen. This system works with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a rearview camera. Next is the S trim level. This one includes faux leather upholstery and push-button start technology for a more athletic look. 

    Then, we have the EX trim that adds heated front seats for a cozier drive during the winter. It also comes with an upgraded 8-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and dual-zone climate control. Lastly, the top-of-the-line SX Turbo model adds heated and ventilated seats along with leather upholstery throughout the cabin. A navigation system has been included as well as a wireless charging pad to help keep the cabin de-cluttered. 

  • Exterior

    A red 2020 Ford Escape is parked next to a group of friends about to kayak outside of Cincinnati, OH.

    Just like with the interior features, the exterior styling elements vary depending on the trim level. Let’s look at both models to understand the differences between the two. 

    The Exterior of the Ford Escape

    First, the 2020 Ford Escape S model rolls on 17-inch wheels. It also gets black accents on the window moldings, side mirrors, beltline moldings, spoiler, and grille to give it a uniform look. Skid plates have been added to the underside of the vehicle to protect it from damage while off-roading or driving over rough terrain. 

    Next, the SE trim adds chrome accents to the beltline moldings, window moldings, and grille for a sleeker exterior appearance LED headlights for optimized visibility, and a body-colored spoiler have also been added. The SE Sport Hybrid model receives wheels painted black, and the SEL gets a black mesh grille, fog lamps, and larger 18-inch wheels. Lastly, the top-tier Titanium model receives black roof rails, chrome moldings, and a stylish chrome grille. 

    The Exterior of the Kia Sportage

    On the flip-side, the 2020 Kia Sportage LX rides on 17-inch alloy wheels, and the S model gets larger 18-inch alloy wheels. The S also receives roof rails and a glossy black grille for a sleek look. The EX doesn’t receive any significant changes, but the top-of-the-line SX Turbo does. It comes with LED headlights, fog lights, a power liftgate, and larger 19-inch wheels. This premium version of the Sportage also gets power-folding side mirrors as well. 

    Color Choices

    Now, we can finish off with paint options. The Ford Escape is available in 10 colors, including Rapid Red, Ingot Silver, Velocity Blue, Star White, Agate Black, Magnetic, Oxford White, Dark Persian Green, Sedona Orange, and Desert Gold. Meanwhile, the Kia Sportage is offered in 8 shades, including Snow White Pearl, Clear White, Black Cherry, Pacific Blue, Steel Gray, Sparkling Silver, Burnished Copper, and Hyper Red. 

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